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Readers Pick Songs To Drive By

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Marilynn76 / via Flickr

All summer long, NPR Music has assembled weekly playlists for those taking road trips, gas prices be damned. After the Road Trip series highlighted songs to fit a wide variety of moods and situations — crushing sadness, getting lost and found, taking a journey in a mere nine minutes, embarking on a Heavy Metal Road Trip and much more — the All Songs Considered blog asked readers to offer up anecdotes about their own favorite road songs. As of this writing, more than 100 readers have provided suggestions; click here to read them and add your own. Below are five of the many enlightening and indispensable picks.

For the rest of this summer's weekly Road Trip: Songs to Drive By series, click here.

Readers Pick Songs To Drive By

Violent Femmes CD art
Add It Up
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Add It Up

  • from Violent Femmes [Deluxe Edition]
  • by Violent Femmes

The Violent Femmes' "Add It Up" can only be properly enjoyed while driving. Corollary: Driving can only be properly enjoyed while listening to "Add It Up." (Zebbart)

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Song
Violent Femmes [Deluxe Edition]
Album
Violent Femmes [Deluxe Edition]
Artist
Violent Femmes
Label
Rhino
Released
2002

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Of Montreal CD art
Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games
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Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games

  • from
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I live in a small college town on a mountain that has several steep back roads. My friends and I used to pile into someone's car and drive down these roads and through the farm country in the valley late at night, sometimes passing a joint around. The one album I remember consistently listening to on these outings is Of Montreal's The Sunlandic Twins, in particular the song "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games." We'd all start singing along, in harmony, and life was grand. (Tim)

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Song
The Sunlandic Twins
Album
The Sunlandic Twins
Artist
Of Montreal
Label
Polyvinyl

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Bedhead CD art
Rest of the Day
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Rest of the Day

  • from Beheaded
  • by Bedhead

I think if I still had a car stereo, I would probably continue to listen to Bedhead -- all of Transaction de Novo, and especially the song "The Rest of the Day" from the album Beheaded. I once played that song while giving a relative stranger a ride, during which all conversation stopped, and after which she responded, "That was the best song I've ever heard." They were so good at gently commanding your attention and then blowing you away with a tactfully explosive "payoff." ... Bedhead songs often start out rather delicately, inevitably causing you to turn the volume way up, and eventually threatening to blow the speakers. Perfect for summery nighttime drives with non-conversational passengers. (Charlie)

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Song
Beheaded
Album
Beheaded
Artist
Bedhead
Label
Touch & Go
Released
1996

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Fall Out Boy CD art
This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race
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This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race

  • from Infinity on High
  • by Fall Out Boy

Summer is the best time for making random road trips with friends. The last two or three summers, my friends and I have made it a point to get together and take a good long drive together. The greatest part about these trips is the soundtracks that we inevitably create while driving. They always seem to be indicative of the mood that everybody is in. On one of the coolest days of July '07, four of us hopped into my friend's car and took off into the country. The music jumped from Death Cab to Panic at the Disco, and finally, after about an hour of back roads, we switched to Fall Out Boy. When "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" came on, we stopped the car in the middle of the road, got out, and started dancing in the middle of the road. It was so much fun! After a few songs, we piled back in, sweat dripping and sore. We were all so jazzed. It was a great time. If you ever get a chance and find the right song, don't be afraid to stop and have a good dance on the side of the road. (Chet Atchison)

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Song
Infinity on High
Album
Infinity on High
Artist
Fall Out Boy
Label
Island
Released
2007

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Deep Purple CD art
Highway Star
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Highway Star

  • from Very Best of Deep Purple [EMI Single Disc]
  • by Deep Purple

Warning: Do not listen while crossing the Mississippi River into southern Illinois on Interstate 57. Southern Illinois state troopers ain't joking. (John McAteer)

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Song
Very Best of Deep Purple [EMI Single Disc]
Album
Very Best of Deep Purple [EMI Single Disc]
Artist
Deep Purple
Label
EMD Int'l
Released
1998

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